Bleach: What Is Ichigo’s “Horn of Salvation”?
As far as Bleach characters go, Ichigo Kurosaki is, of course, the most important character as he is the story’s protagonist. Initially a Yanki-type of character, Ichigo evolves gradually throughout the series to become a truly noble character with a lot of depth. As his story evolves, his powers and abilities evolve as well, and by the time the story ends, Ichigo will have gone through several phases and transformations, with each of them giving him more powers. In this article, we are going to talk about his Merged Hollow Form, as it was seen in the final arc of the story; the form has been dubbed the “Horn of Salvation” by some fans, but this is a purely informal name.
The informal name “Horn of Salvation” actually refers to Ichigo Kurosaki’s Merged Hollow Form, as we have seen it in the final stages of his battle against Yhwach. In this form, Ichigo actually managed to merge his Quincy powers with his Hollow powers, thereby creating a very powerful transformation that enabled him to become a Hollow, while retaining control over his actions.
The rest of this article will provide you with all the information you need to know about Ichigo Kurosaki’s Merged Hollow Form. You’ll find out what it is, how it works, and what it can do, as well as how it’s used in the series. We are also going to explain why Ichigo can unlock this form, as we will explain the origins of his powers in relation to this form. There might be spoilers in this article, so be ready.
What is Ichigo’s Merged Hollow Form?
In the case of Ichigo Kurosaki, fans will know that the protagonist of Bleach is known for his many transformations in the series. Each transformation resulted in a new form that was more powerful than the former until Ichigo finally reached his final form during the battle against Yhwach and his Quincy army. This is a trademark thing for Ichigo, as each new arc brings something new to the series.
As the plot progressed, we found out that Ichigo Kurosaki was the only character in the series who could access the powers of all major groups from the series. He had his Shinigami powers due to his father, but at the same time, he had Hollow powers due to his mother’s encounter with the Hollow White. Later, he could access his Fullbringer powers before, ultimately, awakening his Quincy powers. Now, the main thing here is that some of these powers usually negated and destroyed themselves, but within Ichigo, they all seem to function quite normally, although he did have some problems occasionally.
The story we are about to tell you will focus on his Quincy and his Hollow powers, which were always depicted as special “additions” to his basic Shinigami powers. Namely, if you remember correctly, after losing his powers after the fight with Aizen, Ichigo managed to get them back during the Fullbringer Arc. With his new Shinigami powers, he faced the new Quincy threat that suddenly appeared and attacked Soul Society and Hueco Mundo.
While Yhwach and his troops were raiding the Seireitei, Ichigo went to Hueco Mundo to help Nell defeat the sadistic Quincy Quilge Opie. And while Quilge seemed to be quite powerful, Ichigo managed to defeat him, albeit not kill him, but was imprisoned with his special ability, “The Jail,” before reaching Soul Society.
While inside the unbreakable prison, Ichigo tried to destroy it and was, thus, exposed to a lot of Quincy Reiatsu, which awakened his dormant Quincy powers. After Grimmjow killed Quilge, Ichigo was set free and went to Soul Society, where he faced off against Yhwach. It was an intriguing fight, but Ichigo ultimately lost and had his Bankai broken in two by Yhwach’s second-in-command, Jugram Haschwalth.
Later on, Mayuri would tell him that a Bankai cannot be repaired like a Shikai or a sealed blade, and that was confirmed when the Royal Guard arrived to assist the Gotei 13. Still, the Royal Guard did tell Ichigo that although it was impossible for them to fix his Bankai, they could simply reforge a new Zanpakutō for him, but after some rigorous training.
So, after having his Bankai broken during the Wandenreich’s first assault, Ichigo goes to the Royal Palace to repair his Zanpakutō. Still, it was not before his father told him the whole truth about his origins, which prompted Ichigo to start over by combining all his powers in his sword, that Oetsu Nimaiya reforged his Zanpakutō. From that moment on, a balance between Ichigo’s Quincy and Hollow powers was established, allowing Ichigo to use them both and access new forms of power.
Still, if the balance were broken, the Hollow side would still be able to break free, and this opened the path for a new, even more, powerful transformation, known as the Merged Hollow Form. In it, Ichigo was similar to the Vasto Lorde Form from his battle with Ulquiorra, but he had only one horn. He kept his human appearance and was in full control of his powers. Speaking of which, allow us to tell you a bit about them.
Where previously Ichigo had trouble mastering his spirit power, he now has full control over it. He can even make it take on a clear form, something few beings are capable of, which has helped him earn praise from Yhwach himself. His Zanpakutō retained the form it had had after being reforged by Nimaiya, thus consisting of two sabers, one representing his Hollow powers obtained via White, who Aizen created, and the other representing his Quincy powers, drawn from Yhwach’s mind; even in this form, he still keeps them under constant release.
Zangetsu’s basic attack, the Getsuga Tenshō, focuses Ichigo’s spiritual energy before spitting it out with immense power from the tip of his blade. Ichigo can also drop one to neutralize an opposing attack with a Getsuga of the same power. But, in this form, he also unlocked the Getsuga Jūjishō, an advanced attack from the Getsuga Tenshō that consists of firing two of these attacks in a cross. This technique is powerful enough to neutralize Candice Catnipp’s Electrocution and completely sever her arm.
By merging his two swords, Ichigo releases his Bankai, and his power becomes so great that Yhwach himself has to break his Bankai twice out of “respect for his power.” It should be noted that Ichigo can use all of the previously mentioned powers to their maximum potential and that Tensa Zangetsu’s blade only gains full power when the first blade’s shell shatters to reveal the first Shikai’s appearance.
By gathering enough Spirit Pressure, Ichigo can tint one of his sabers white to harmonize his Shinigami, Hollow, and Quincy powers. By merging this power with his Shikai, he can walk past Orihime’s Santen Kesshun without her realizing it, and just by letting his Spirit Pressure burst, he can destroy Yhwach’s throne room, prompting Yhwach to label his power as magnificent.
Thanks to his Hollow powers, Ichigo can charge the Gran Rey Cero, which only Espadas could master. He can even fuse it to his Getsuga Tenshō, increasing its destructive power, thus making it capable of injuring Yhwach. He can also use the Blut Arterie technique, although Yhwach forced him to perform it thanks to his ability, The Almighty. Ichigo could use this technique to increase his own strength by passing his Reishi through his blood vessels. With his Blut Arterie, he has enough strength to slice the Soul King in half.